DR Congo

Two MSF teams attacked by armed men in South Kivu, DRC

News and Press Release
Originally published

The incidents force MSF to suspend outreach medical activities in the area, leaving thousands of people without assistance

Bukavu, 12 April 2011 - On Sunday 10th April, MSF teams have been attacked in two different areas in South Kivu, DRC. In one of the incidents, two MSF staff were injured by gunshots. MSF is extremely concerned about the worsening security situation in South Kivu and condemns violence perpetrated against its staff. Given the current lack of security and respect for humanitarian work, MSF has decided to suspend till further notice its outreach medical activities in the areas of Uvira, Hauts Plateaux and Shabunda.

On Sunday morning uniformed armed men attacked two MSF cars that were on the road to Marungu, near Hauts Plateaux. They opened fire in the air and robbed the MSF car drivers and everything that was transported in the cars. Later the same afternoon, another MSF car was attacked by uniformed armed men on the road between Bukavu and Uvira, near Kamanyola. Two MSF staff members, one national and one international, were wounded by gunfire. Both got timely medical assistance and their health condition is stable for the time being.

“After these two serious incidents, we have decided to suspend till further notice our outreach medical activities in South Kivu”, said Jean Marc Cordaro, MSF Director of Operations. “It is a difficult decision, because it impacts on people of the region that have very little access to healthcare. But we cannot work without minimum security and respect for humanitarian staff”. MSF keeps on running its lifesaving emergency activities in hospitals.

MSF expresses its deep concern over the deterioration of the security situation in the area and publicly condemns any violent act against humanitarian workers. MSF insists that to continue to provide urgently needed healthcare to the people of South Kivu, the safety of medical facilities, vehicles and staff must be respected by all parties.

MSF provides medical care to thousands of displaced and resident people in South Kivu and responds to emergencies. MSF teams have managed to reach many isolated areas of South Kivu, such as Hauts Plateaux and Shabunda, where people had very limited access to healthcare. MSF runs also a medical project in Kalonge and a hospital in Baraka. Currently MSF provides medical assistance to more than 30,000 people on a monthly basis in the 4 projects.